1865 – Fashionable lady, Parramatta

What we see in this image

This full-length portrait shows a fashionably-dressed young woman, aged in her mid-20s though her identity is unrecorded. Evidence of prolonged exposure to the sun (clearly seen in the tan line across the subject’s brow) may indicate that she is a recently arrived immigrant or has travelled in to town from the interior of the colony. She is posed standing next to a leather-upholstered armchair, set on a geometrically-patterned floor cloth, in front of a photographer’s backdrop, depicting a balcony scene with a grand column, decorative awning and coastal view stretching to the horizon behind her. The negative also captures part of the interior of the Parramatta studio of native-born photographer Henry William Burgin II, though much of this detail would have been cropped out of the final print.

 

The woman wears a plain, dark [silk] taffeta day dress which looks to be brand new, exhibiting all the latest fashionable features. The high-necked bodice is worn with a narrow, white collar above a plain corsage, with bands of ruched self-fabric trim forming a V-shape rising up from the round waist over to the sloping, dropped shoulder line, and epaulettes fitted at the upper arm above full ‘bishop’ sleeves gathered into a centre front seam and worn with narrow white cuffs. The full, bell-shaped skirt is pleated into the waist, above a pair of ornamental patch pockets, and has a moderately full flounce inserted above the hem, the seam trimmed with dark [velvet] flowers.

 

Her dark, centre-parted hair is covered by a ‘spoon’ bonnet. The bonnet’s brim, rising vertically above her forehead in a spoon-shaped curve and narrowing to sit close to the ears, is filled with a bouquet of fabric flowers and slopes behind to a very small crown which is edged with a ‘bavolet’ flounce at its base at the back of the neck. The bonnet strings (or ribbons) are tied under her chin, the handsome ribbon streamers are left long and wide to show off their fashionable ‘ombre’ (shading).

 

Four significant facts seriously affected fashions of the 1860s and thereafter. Firstly the sewing machine had been invented, secondly synthetic dyes would soon make a wide array of more intense colours available, and thirdly – from this time and into the future – clothing trends would be increasingly led by couture design.

 

Fourthly, by 1867, the crinoline-domed skirt silhouette had developed a flattened front which began to show a dramatic leaning toward the back of the garment. By this time, a woman in middle class circles might buy a dress ready-made, or buy the bodice ready-made (which was more complicated to fit and construct) with a length of the same fabric to make the skirt herself. She, or a dressmaker, might also use one of the paper patterns distributed free by fashion magazines, such as The World of Fashion, from 1850. Bonnets also became shallower and set further back on the head at this time.

What we know about this image

By the 1850s, Parramatta was the fifth largest town in New South Wales, vigorously promoting itself as an alternate shopping destination to Sydney and offering a wide range of skilled tradespeople, goods and retail services. After the discovery of gold to the west of the Blue Mountains, the town lay at the crossroads of the colonial transport networks, and directly in the path of the frantic movement of people and merchandise between the coast and outlying mining and pastoral settlements.

 

Henry William Burgin II (1830-1914) was born in Parramatta, NSW, the eldest of three children of Henry William Burgin and Mary (née Gowen). By 1853, H.W. Burgin II was established as an ‘ophthalmic optician’ in at 183 Church Street North. He also operated a business as a jeweller, watch and clockmaker from the same Church Street premises, before taking up the photography in about 1860. Burgin married Grace E. Curtis at the Parramatta Presbyterian Church on 6th February 1851, and the couple had nine children, before Grace’s death in 1868. Burgin then married Ann Sanday in 1870.

 

It was perhaps H.W. Burgin’s interest in optics and mechanics that encouraged his part-time venture into the world of photography, later joined in the watchmaking and photographic business by one of his sons, Henry William Burgin III (1852-1887). The Burgins, father and his son, are believed to have worked as photographers in Parramatta from the early 1860s to the 1880s. The Burgin family lived above their Church Street premises and probably operated their photographic studio from behind the shopfront; as reported in the Sydney Mail, ‘Mr. Henry Burgin, of Church-street, photographer suffered much, his gallery being destroyed’ during a wild storm at Parramatta on 2 Jan 1872. (Terrific storm at Parramatta, Sydney Mail, 6 Jan 1872, p.19)

 

With no advertisements known to indicate the extent of their photographic practice, two surviving collections of prints and negatives document the Burgins’ output and record the array of poses and props they used to create the genteel portrait setting recorded in their suburban studio, marking their work as clearly as any photographer’s stamp. The collection of wet-plate negatives (ON 58) and cdv portraits (PXA 1036) mainly by Burgin and held in the Mitchell Library, feature studio portraits and show people, many local Parramatta residents, either seated or standing beside furniture props. Different examples of the photographer’s stamps of the Burgins (father and son) are also represented along with many images that do not bear a photographer’s stamp but can also be determined as having originated from Burgin’s studio by their backdrops and studio furniture.

 

Although photography occupied only part of the daily business of Henry Burgin II, he may well have been influenced by the work of itinerant photographers passing through Parramatta, such as Beaufoy Merlin. Burgin also appears to have continued using his old camera into the 1890s, long past his studio years, to record important local events.

 

CARTE DE VISITE
In 1859 the Sydney press heralded the arrival of carte de visite photography in the colony, proclaiming: ‘truly this is producing portraits for the million [sic].’ Cartes de visite were small photographs, printed from a glass negative onto paper, and pasted onto a slightly larger piece of card. These photographs were cheap to produce and copies could be printed by the dozen from the same negative. Unlike their photographic predecessors, the daguerreotype and ambrotype, no glass was used in the final product, making cartes light and easy to post. For the first time in history, ordinary people could afford to have their portrait taken, and have copies made to send to anyone living within reach by mail.

 

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1865 – Fashionable lady, Parramatta

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  Creator
Henry William Burgin II (1830-1914)
  Inscription
none
  Medium
photograph
Background
none
  Reference
Open

 


1865 – Colonial Family Portrait

What we see in this image

This watercolour portrait shows a colonial family, comprising an adult male and female with six children – three daughters and three sons, one holding a cricket bat – posed in a rural, pastoral setting. It is reminiscent of the type of informal group portrait known as a ‘conversation piece’ which is characterised by the depiction of a number of family members and/or friends portrayed in the act of conversation or some other activity, either in a domestic or rural setting, very often posed outdoors.

This type of image is very rare in colonial art by the 1860s, as photography had largely undercut the market for formal painted portraiture except at the upper end of the market. The awkward composition of this watercolour suggests it may have been worked up from a series of individual photographic portraits. The family are all depicted wearing casual summer clothes. The youngest child, on the far left, can be determined to be a boy of about four to five years of age, as indicated by the side parting of his short brown hair. Following the practice of clothing children of both sexes in skirts until they were thoroughly toilet-trained, he wears a brown cloth dress with military-style epaulettes on the shoulder above long sleeves, trimmed with blue Russian braid in scrolling pattern at the cuffs, peplum and hem of his pleated skirt, worn with short white socks and elastic-sided boots.

The mother wears a two-piece day dress of a fine, gingham-checked brown cotton, comprising a bodice jacket with a centre front button fastening, edged with bands of white lace/braid trim above a round waist, worn with a white collar and bishop sleeves with matching cuffs, and a long, full skirt with narrow red/rust braid trim marking its circumference at the hem. She holds a flat-crowned, narrow-brimmed, round straw hat with a [silk] ribbon band in her lap, her centre-parted dark hair fastened back from her face, with the remainder rolled up and tucked into a hair net, hanging down to shoulder level behind.
The father smoking a long clay pipe wears a serviceable brown cloth three piece sack, or ‘sac’, suit, cut long and loose through the body with wide sleeves and small notched lapels, buttoned close to the neck and left open down the front, above a matching single-breasted waistcoat and trousers, and worn over a white shirt with a turn down collar and a black [silk] ribbon tie. His side parted reddish hair is worn long, curling behind his ears over his neck, and he is unshaven with the long, full beard and moustache popular in this period.

The eldest, teenaged daughter, seated near her parents holds a book in her hand, perhaps teaching her younger sisters who stand nearby. She wears a grey beige cloth dress with a high-necked bodice, a sky blue ribbon tied in a bow below a narrow white collar, and moderate bishop sleeves with matching white cuffs above a long full skirt with a round waist.
The two younger girls wear matching sky blue cloth dresses with round-necked square yokes, edged with black piping above pleated bodices with long ‘bishop’ sleeves, and round waists marked by self-fabric belts above knee-length full skirts trimmed with a single flounce at the hem also piped in black. Both girls wear white stockings and elastic-sided black leather ankle boots, the younger girl’s pantalettes just visible below the hem of her dress.

The elder two boys wear collarless schoolboy suits, buttoned to the neck over white shirts with turn down collars and soft sky blue [silk] bow ties, worn with matching long trousers and elastic-sided black leather boots. Both boys wear their short hair brushed into a curled wave at the temple from a side parting. One boy holds a cricket bat with a ball at his feet.

What we know about this image

R. Grindell is thought to have been an itinerant artist who travelled around New South Wales in the 1860s painting watercolours of homesteads and landscape views. Recollected as a ‘gentleman swaggie’ by a descendant of one of his clients, Grindell may have been a son of James Grindell who was in New Zealand from the 1840s, working successively as explorer, settler, hotel proprietor and government interpreter (from 1848).
In about 1863, Grindell was at Henry and Harriette Wallace’s property, Eunonyhareenyha at Wagga Wagga, where he produced a set of three watercolour and gouache views signed ‘R. Grindell pinx’; all three works remain with the family for whom they were painted.

 

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1865 – Colonial Family Portrait

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  Creator
R. Grindell, fl. 1863-
  Inscription
Lower right: ‘R. Grindell’
  Medium
watercolour
Background
none
  Reference
Open

 


1864 – Sarah Cross Little and her daughter Mary Emma

What we see in this image

This full-length double portrait ambrotype photograph shows Sarah Cross Little, nee Bingle, aged 32, with her eldest daughter Mary Emma, aged about 4 years old. The image looks to have been created by an amateur photographer, possibly Joseph Docker, a close friend and next door neighbour of the Bingle family at Scone, NSW. The subjects are posed in a make-shift studio with a mock room setting comprising dark cloth ‘walls’ hung with scenic and portrait prints. It offers rare and early documentation of everyday informal dress as worn by female members of a rural colonial family.

 

Mrs Little wears a day dress of finely-striped gauzy [cotton] fabric with a light-coloured ground, the high-necked bodice worn with a small white collar and a brooch, above the softly-pleated corsage concealing a front opening and fanning up to the fashionable low shoulder line from a round waist, marked by a narrow dark belt with a [metal] clip buckle, above the plain, gathered or pleated full skirt, supported by a hooped petticoat the outline of which clearly is visible above the hem.

 

Her very wide, bell-shaped sleeves are in the style shown in fashion plates of the early 1860s, flaring from the upper arm into a large, bowed shape with tucks inside the elbow, worn over open puffed, flounced undersleeves above a bracelet (probably one of a pair) with a central medallion of a dark-coloured, open-work carved material (possibly jet). She wears her dark centre-parted hair in the popular ‘bandeau’ style –check.

 

Mary Emma Little wears a summery day dress of horizontally-striped [cotton] with a wide shallow neckline, short double-ruffled cap sleeves with ribbon bow trim, the bodice with a loosely-pleated corsage above a round waist band and pleated or gathered short full skirt with triple bands of ruffled trim. She wears white ankle socks and ankle-strapped, round-toed, flat leather shoes trimmed at the throat of the vamp with silk floss pom-poms. Her clasped hands hold a white flower in her lap and she wears her centre-parted dark hair brushed into long, soft ringlets at the temple.

 

What we know about this image

Sarah Cross Little, nee Bingle (1832-1909) was the second daughter, and youngest of three children incl. John Rayden (b.1829) and Mary Elizabeth (b.1825), born to John Bingle (1796–1882), and his wife Mary, nee Cross, of ‘Puen Buen’ on the Upper Hunter River. In 1858, Sarah married William Little (1833-1882) and the couple had eight children, four of whom survived to adulthood including Mary Emma (b. 6 March 1860-1926) who later married Herbert Gardner and bore a family of 12 children, 7 surviving to adulthood.

 

For two years after their marriage, Sarah and William lived at his father’s property, Belmont at North Richmond, NSW. When Francis Little died in 1860, as his eldest son, William inherited ‘Invermein’ station at Scone, NSW, where the family resided until William’s retirement in 1877.

 

Joseph Docker (1802-1884), painter, amateur photographer, carver, surgeon, pastoralist and politician, owned ‘Thornthwaite’ estate on the Dartbrook River, situated 11 miles from Scone, N.S.W, and abutting the Bingle family property ‘Puen Buen’. Docker was well acquainted with the Bingle and Little families, as recorded in Sarah Little’s diary:

‘The Honorable Joseph Docker of ‘Thornthwaite’, Scone, was a great friend of W. Little – also my father. The former used to spend three days every week at Puen Buen, drive (sic) down to attend the Courts in Scone’.
During this period, between the years 1850 and 1855, Docker took several amateur featuring the Little and Bingle families and their properties which were collected and stored in albums (ML). After Joseph Docker became a Member of Parliament (MLC, 1851 to 1884) the family lived mainly in Sydney but still travelled frequently.

 

Both Joseph Docker and his son Judge Ernest Brougham Docker (1842-1923) experimented with calotype and ambrotype (collodion positive) photography, modifying Docker’s camera obscura for calotype (salted prints on paper from glass negatives) photography in about 1850 – a early format of which Docker was one of the first in Australia to experiment.

 

Ernest Docker was also took lessons from Sydney photographer William Hetzer and, in 1858 with his father, began experiments with a wet-plate process. Between 1860 and 1868 Docker was sensitizing his own dry plates by the tannin-collodion-albumen process, although dry plates were not widely used until the early 1880s. Joining the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1876, Ernest Docker did much to promote photography through his articles in overseas and Australian journals, particularly in the British Journal of Photography, and as president of the Photographic Society of New South Wales in 1894-1907.

 

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1864 – Sarah Cross Little and her daughter Mary Emma

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  Creator
[Docker, Joseph] attrib. (1802-1884)
  Inscription
none
  Medium
photograph
Background
See also: MIN 391 for professional studio portrait
  Reference
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1863 – Alice and Sarah Stephen

What we see in this image

This full-length double portrait shows the Stephen twins, Alice and Sarah (known as Saidee) at about 19 years of age. The girls wear matching outfits and are shown standing side by side, their bodies turned toward each other in a front facing pose, in a studio interior with a prop table and curtain drape behind.

 

The Stephen family are known to have frequented the George Street studio of Edwin Dalton, the most expensive photographer in Sydney at the time, and regarded by Lady Stephen as the best. This carte de visite portrait bears the stamp of Dalton’s Royal Photographic Establishment.

 

The twins wear identical day dresses constructed in a plain dark [silk taffeta] with very high necklines worn with narrow white collars, above pleated jacket bodices with self-covered button front fastenings and dropped shoulder lines, fitted around the upper arms with tight, pointed caps trimmed with two rows of narrow black braid, above plain, full skirts pleated into round waist bands, marked by contrasting dark [velvet] belts, worn over the necessary underpinnings of hooped cage-crinoline with several layers petticoats to conceal the wires.

 

The girls also wear black [velvet] ribbons around their necks – perhaps suspending a locket or pendant – and long gold watch chains with fobs and winders – Saidee’s watch has clearly been tucked into the waistband of her dress.

 

The other defining feature of the twins’ dresses is their large full ‘bishop’ sleeves, with a line of shirring along their length and worn with narrow white cuffs. Seen in fashion plates from 1857, the bishop sleeve was cut in a curved ‘bent elbow’ shape, pleated into the armhole and gathered tightly into the wrist. Reaching its greatest width and popularity by about 1862, it persisted far into the decade.

 

Expensively, if plainly, clothed the twins’ readiness to enter society is clearly signalled by the dressing of their dark hair in the customary adult style, neatly and smoothly centre-parted and plaited into thick braids wrapped over their ears and pinned behind at the nape of their necks.
As the girls are not strictly dressed for mourning, it’s possible that commissioning of this portrait marking the girls’ passage to adulthood at 18, may have been delayed until after the family’s official bereavement period (of a year and a day) following the death of their eldest sister ‘Nelly’ (Eleanor Elizabeth Stephen) on 7 February 1861.

What we know about this image

Alice Mary Stephen (1844-1902) and Sarah (aka Saidee) Consett Stephen (1844-1934) were the twin daughters of Sir Alfred Stephen (1802-1894), legislator and third Chief Justice of NSW, and his second wife, Lady Eleanor, nee Bedford (1810–1886), Born on 18 Feb 1844, Alice and Saidee were the eleventh and twelfth of Sir Alfred’s eighteen children, and the fourth and fifth of nine children born to Eleanor Stephen; the arrival of Alice and Saidee was followed by the birth of twin boys in 1847, one of whom did not survive.

 

The Stephens twins, neither of whom married, were almost indistinguishable from each other. Doing most things in common and inseparable companions, they were described by their maternal grandmother, Mrs Bedford, as ‘bright sensible girls’ who cared not for frivolity. In their busy and crowded household, Lady Stephen oversaw the girls’ education at home, employing the services of a superior governess and following a strict curriculum, supervising their music practice before breakfast, and escorting them to dancing lessons and extra language lessons several mornings a week.

 

In 1866, the Stephens moved to ‘Orielton’, a large, elegant and comfortable house with harbour views at Ocean St, Woollahra. As their father’s ‘home daughters’, following the death of their mother in 1886, the twin sisters were both enthusiastic musicians. Saidee was also a gifted linguist, able to speak five languages fluently; for many years in the earlier part of her life she had also acted as confidential secretary to her father, handling all his correspondence and assisting him in his legal work. After the death of Alice in 1902, Saidee lived on for thirty more years at her Woollahra home until her passing, at 90 years of age, in 1934.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Painter, photographer and lithographer, Edwin Dalton had spent some time in America before coming to Australia in the 1853, possibly in search of gold. He set up as portrait painter in Melbourne. In early 1854 Dalton was living in Upper Hawthorn (Vic.) but by July 1854, he was in Sydney, where he attracted commissions from the city’s most prominent families.

 

He advertised his Dalton’s Collodion Portraits at 243 George Street (1855-57), and his studio known as the Royal Photographic Portrait Establishment Gallery at 400 George Street (1858-59) with William Bradley, proprietor, followed by the Royal Photographic Gallery at 320 George (1863-65), and later at 330 George Street (1866-67), taken over by H. Hunt, as proprietor.

 

CARTE DE VISITES:
The carte de visite is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph, invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. They were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood with albums arriving in 1860, aiding the collection and distribution of multiple cartes. Cartes were usually portraits and were made by the millions worldwide. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.

 

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1863 – Alice and Sarah Stephen

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  Creator
Edwin Dalton, fl. 1853-1865
  Inscription
below image in ink: ‘Alice & Saidee/Stephen’
on reverse in ink: ‘Photo: Taken in 1863’
on reverse photographer’s stamp: ‘Dalton’s / Royal Photographic / Establishment / Sydney’
  Medium
photograph
Background
none
  Reference
Open
Open
Open

 


1862 – Sir John and Lady Adelaide Young

What we see in this image

This full-length double portrait carte-de visite is believed to show Sir John Young, aged about 55, and Lady Adelaide Annabella Young, aged in her late 40s. The couple are casually and affectionately posed in a domestic room setting, the governor seated cross-legged in a high-backed arm chair, a large book resting open on his lap, his wife standing by his side with one hand on his shoulder, the other playfully tapping her frivolously feather-trimmed [ivory] fan on his leg, perhaps to distract him away from his reading.

 

Lady Young wears a highly fashionable and elaborate summer day dress of thin, white, partially-translucent plain-weave [cotton] fabric known as tarlatan often, as seen here, with a woven or printed stripe. This sheer textile was finished with a starched glaze to add firmness and body without weight, creating an illusion of airy lightness, making it perfectly suited to the frothy styles of the crinoline era. Lady Young’s dress has a high-necked, softly draped and pleated jacket bodice with a dropped shoulder line above wide, open three-quarter-length ‘pagoda’ sleeves, trimmed with two narrow pleated bands of contrasting striped edging, worn with white undersleeves closed at the wrist.

 

Her narrow waist is marked by a diamond-shaped Swiss belt in a contrasting shade of silk taffeta with self-ruched trim, above a voluminous skirt falling to the floor, and trimmed at the hem with two tiers of narrow flounces, further trimmed with contrasting striped bands of pleated edging.

 

Lady Young wears a black velvet ribbon around her neck suspending a jewelled or enamelled pendant, also a long, fine guard chain for the watch tucked into the belt at her waist, and a pair of dark bead bracelets on her wrists – perhaps made of carved or heat-moulded Irish bog oak (ie. wood fossilized in peat marshes or bogs so that it turns hard and very dark in colour) popular at this time and symbolic of her birthplace.

 

In contrast to the sleek loops of hair depicted in fashion plates, Lady Young wears her curly hair in the naturalistic crimped style favoured by artistic ladies from about 1860, followers of the second phase of the pre-Raphaelite movement.

 

Sir John wears an impeccably tailored dark wool three-piece suit (probably bespoke) comprising a double-breasted frock coat with wide, notched lapels and fitted sleeves with wide cuffs, matching lapelled waistcoat with gold watch and chain draped across the front, over a starched white shirt with a high, peaked collar and silk neckcloth tied in a flat bow, and well-fitted, tapered trousers worn with highly polished, elastic-sided black leather ankle boots with rounded toes.

 

Described as erect in stature, Sir John is clean-shaven, with long side-burns, his short grey, side-parted hair curling over his ears and brushed forward around the temples in the style of his youth.

What we know about this image

Sir John [Baron Lisgar] Young (1807-1876) married Adelaide Annabella Tuite Dalton (1814-1895), a stepdaughter of the Marquess of Headfort, and described as one of the noted beauties of her day, at Kells Church, Dublin on the 8th April 1835.

 

Appointed to succeed Sir William Denison as twelfth governor of NSW on 18 Jan 1861, the couple arrived in Sydney on the Northam on 21st March 1861, where Young was immediately plunged into an angry and complicated political crisis. An able public speaker, possessed of an easy charm of manner, he and his wife were keenly aware of the social responsibilities of Government House and were active in good causes.

Lambing Flat, a town in New South Wales, was renamed Young, in honour of Sir John Young, but Young found colonial politics tiresome and missed the excitement of the House of Commons.

 

Returning to England in 1867, the Young’s moved to Canada in February 1869 where Sir John served as the second Governor General. He died at Lisgar House, Bailieborough, Ireland, on 6 October 1876, without issue, the Baronetcy descending to a nephew. Lady Young married Sir Francis Turville (1831-1889) on 3rd August 1878, and died on 19th July 1895.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Painter, photographer and lithographer, Edwin Dalton had spent some time in America before coming to Australia in the 1853, possibly in search of gold. He set up as portrait painter in Melbourne and was living in Upper Hawthorn (Vic.) in early 1854. By July 1854, Dalton was in Sydney, where he soon attracted commissions from some of the city’s most prominent families.

 

The photographer advertised his ‘Dalton’s Collodion Portraits’ at 243 George Street (1855-57), and his studio known as the Royal Photographic Portrait Establishment Gallery at 400 George Street (1858-59) with William Bradley, proprietor, followed by the Royal Photographic Gallery at 320 George (1862-65), and later at 330 George Street (1866-67), taken over by H. Hunt, as proprietor.

 

Empire (Sydney, NSW), Sat 6 Sep 1862, Page 1, Advertising:
Mr Dalton begs to inform the public that that having had his former gallery together with the whole of his valuable stick and specimens of art in various branches entirely destroyed by fire which took place on the evening of 27 August, he has secured those desirable rooms No. 320 Gorge Street well known as the Old Empire Office, near Hunter Street, where he proposes to immediately resume the practice of his profession and trusts he will be honoured by the continued patronage of his friends. August 26 1862. By Appointment to His Excellency Sir John Young and Lady Young.

 

CARTE DE VISITES:
The carte de visite, or cdv, is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph which was invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. Cartes, usually portraits and made by the millions worldwide, were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood, with albums arriving in 1860 which encouraged the collection and distribution of multiple copies. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.

 

 

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1862 – Sir John and Lady Adelaide Young

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  Creator
Edwin Dalton, fl. 1853-1865
  Inscription
photographer’s stamp on reverse: Dalton’s Royal Photographic Gallery
  Medium
photograph
Background
none
  Reference
Open

 


1862 – Roseina Troughton

What we see in this image

This ½ length front facing hand-coloured ambrotype portrait shows a young Rosa Troughton, aged in her late teens, before her marriage to George Beckett in 1863. She is posed in a drawing room setting, seated on a leather-upholstered side chair, holding a book in her lap with her left hand, her right arm resting on a prop table covered in a foliate-printed [plush] cloth with a dark red curtain draped behind.

 

Roseina wears a simple ensemble which conforms exactly to casual summer fashions of the early 1860s, as does the use of a graphically-patterned textile like this [cotton] ‘gingham’ with its dark check on a light ground. Constructed either in one-piece or as separates, the new style of ‘skirt-and-waist’ seen here comprises a bloused ‘shirt-waist’ (also known as a ‘waist’) with a fuller front, gathered or pleated into a very high neckline worn with a narrow white collar, above a plain, full skirt pleated into the round waist band, marked by a contrasting belt fastening at centre front with a decorative buckle, and worn over the necessary underpinnings of hooped cage-crinoline with several layers petticoats to conceal the wires.

 

The other defining feature of this dress is its large full ‘bishop’ sleeves, worn with narrow white cuffs. Seen in fashion plates from 1857, the bishop sleeve was cut in a curved ‘bent elbow’ shape, pleated into the armhole and gathered tightly into the wrist. Reaching its greatest width and popularity by about 1862, it persisted far into the decade.

 

Though simply clothed, Roseina’s readiness to enter society is clearly signalled by the dressing of her dark, centre-parted hair in the customary adult style, brushed neatly and smoothly into a large roll, tucked behind her ears and pinned back at the nape of her neck.

What we know about this image

Roseina, aka Rosa and Rose, Walsh (1843-1929) was a daughter of James and Dorcas Troughton of Parramatta. She is thought to have been married twice: firstly to George Beckett (1863) at Parramatta, and then to James Walsh (1881). She died at ‘Ormond’, Waterloo Road, North Ryde, the home of her daughter, Mrs Amelia Dorcus (sic) Owen. (Family Notices, Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Mon 30 Sep 1929, page 10)

 

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1862 – Roseina Troughton

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  Creator
unknown
  Inscription
none
  Medium
photograph
Background
none
  Reference
 See ML 460 for three older Troughton sisters

 


1861 – Deacons of Pitt Street Congregational Church

What we see in this image

This large albumen photoprint appears to show the Reverend William Cuthbertson (seated) surrounded by the five prominent Sydney businessmen who were deacons of the Pitt Street Congregational Church, but these gentlemen did not actually pose for this group photograph at the same time. The photograph is in fact a montage of three or four separate images, joined together, re-photographed and then hand-coloured to complete the illusion.

 

The subjects of this group portrait are from left to right: auditor Robert Garrett (d.1876), merchant George Rees (d.1862), newspaper proprietor John Fairfax (1804-1877) leaning on a square plinth, the Rev. Cuthbertson (ca.1827-1910) seated, grocer and druggist Ambrose Foss (1803-1862) and draper David Jones (1804-1877) standing next to the length of balustrading.

 

Almost all of the men are dressed in customary mid-19th century business attire, namely double-breasted black [wool] frock coats with wide notched lapels, several with wide deeply-cuffed sleeves, worn over dark trousers (Robert Garrett’s with turned up cuffs), waistcoats draped with gold fob chains and starched white shirts with high peaked collars, encircled by dark cravats tied in a flat bow.

 

The Rev. Cuthbertson wears a white tie to denote his status as a member of the clergy. John Fairfax wears a signet ring and Ambrose Foss a morning coat, perhaps better suited to the portly physique of this importer of epicurean delights, which ‘for excellence of taste and flavour, being in high condition, can scarcely be equalled in the Colony’.

 

The men all wear square-toed dark leather shoes, with varying degrees of polish, and several hold spectacles. All have longish hair with left or right side partings, brushed back from their foreheads and curling over their ears, and clean shaven cheeks, some retaining side whiskers or a fringe of beard around the chin.

What we know about this image

In 1861 German-born photographer William Hetzer imported one of the colony’s largest cameras, enabling him to produce large group portraits photographs like this. Within 12 months of the taking of this photograph, however, two of the deacons (Rees and Foss) had died and their pastor had returned to England.

 

The Pitt Street Independent Chapel had opened for worship in 1833, with a congregation comprising twelve members. In 1840 the first pastor, Reverend Robert Ross (1792-1862), arrived with his family to commence his ministry. By 1841 the Chapel was inadequate for the growing congregation, and a new church building was constructed on the site of the present Pitt Street Congregational Church opening in 1846.

 

Following the retirement of Pastor Ross due to illness in 1854, the young Dr Cuthbertson was invited to Sydney to take up the pulpit at the Pitt Street Congregational Church.

 

John Fairfax (1804-1877) migrated to Sydney with his family in 1838, joining the diaconate of the Pitt St Congregational Church in the same year as Welsh-born David Jones, who would serve 35 years as a Pitt Street deacon; Jones’ eldest daughter Eliza married Robert Ross, son of the first pastor, in 1849. Along with Robert Garrett, Ambrose Foss (co-founder of the Congregational Church in NSW) and George Rees, this network of energetic nonconformist businessmen would grow together in wealth and influence in the colony, closely associated through chapel, commerce and civic responsibility.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER:
William Hetzer and his wife, Thekla, arrived at Sydney on 3 February 1850, and began operating their photographic studio in Hunter Street, before moving to George Street (1850 –1867). Hetzer seems to have always specialised in paper photographs and was best known for his wet-plate collodion negative albumen prints of Sydney streets and buildings, in particular a series of up to 60 stereo views of the city which he was producing by subscription in 1859. Hetzer also submitted a large (46” × 24”/ 116.8 × 60.9 cm) coloured composite photograph of the 23 officers of the Sydney Provincial Grand Lodge of Freemasons to the 1862 London International Exhibition.

 

In 1867, prior to their departure for Europe, the Hetzer’s advertised the auction of their photographic equipment (including 3500 registered negatives) and studio at 287 George Street, both of which were subsequently purchased by Joseph Degotardi, Photographer and Photo-lithographer to the NSW Government departments. (Sydney Morning Herald, 14 and 30 March 1867)

 

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1861 – Deacons of Pitt Street Congregational Church

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  Creator
Hetzer, William fl. 1850-1867
  Inscription
in pencil, lower edge: ‘Deacons of Pitt Street Congregational Church, 1856+’
  Medium
photograph
Background
none
  Reference
Open